5 Things You Didn’t Know You Could Cook On The Grill
If you’re the type of person who transforms into an outdoor barbecue superstar each summer, you’re probably adept at grilling all of the warm-weather classics.
But today, we’d like to share with you a number of barbecue ideas that go well beyond the traditional trifecta of burgers, dogs and steak. Because the fact of the matter is that a truly creative barbecue chef can very easily grill a well-rounded meal, from appetizers to dessert.
One friendly word of warning: Don’t be surprised if guests at your next cookout assume you’re stretching the truth when you tell them that everything on their plate was cooked on the grill. Just give them a smile, and tell them to enjoy.
Peaches Wrapped in Bacon with Maple Syrup
Start your barbecue with an unusual grilled appetizer, and guests will know they’re in for a special meal. Peaches wrapped in bacon and glazed with maple syrup is one of our all-time favorites, and a surprisingly simple dish.
Start by slicing your peaches into wedged quarters, and wrap each one with a piece of bacon. We recommend staying away from thick-cut bacon, which can overwhelm the taste of the peach.
Attach the bacon with toothpicks. If you happen to have fresh basil leaves, add a couple to the sides of the peach for nice burst of unexpected flavor. Drizzle a bit of maple syrup over the peaches once they’re finished grilling—20 minutes should do the trick. This dish can be served warm or at room temperature.
Grilled Caesar Salad
Nearly everyone likes a good Caesar salad, but did you know one can be whipped up right on the grill?
Start by cutting a few hearts of romaine in half the long way before lightly grilling them on each side for about two minutes. You’ll know you’re done when you can see light grill marks, and when the romaine becomes a bit wilted.
Next, chop the romaine into strips to your liking and plate it with Parmesan cheese, croutons, and a little zest of lemon. A slight drizzle of Dijon mustard can also be a nice touch. Don’t be surprised if it becomes a staple of your grilling routine.
While it’s possible to start with yeast and bake bread from scratch right on the grill, it’s a lot quicker and easier to simply start with a loaf of your favorite bread and simply pop it on an already-warm grill.
The trick to producing a perfectly grilled flatbread? It’s all about the time the bread sits on the grill, and the control you have over your grill’s temperature. You’ll need 20 -30 minutes to properly grill an entire loaf, whereas rolls or buns should be done in closer to 15 minutes.
Flatbreads tend to need even less time than that, but the only true way to grill a perfect flatbread involves practice. If you find that the bottom of your bread is baking much faster than the rest, try stacking a couple baking sheets on top of each other to reduce the heat that’s concentrating on your flatbread’s bottom.
Although popcorn made on the grill doesn’t taste much different from popcorn made in your microwave or on the stove, the novelty factor of popping corn outdoors can’t be beat. If you have kids, this is a treat you’ll want to try.
Start by coating an aluminum half-size baking pan with lots of vegetable oil before pouring in a cupful of popcorn kernels, and then loosely covering the pan with aluminum foil. Once your grill heats up to 450-500 degrees (you’ll need a thermometer to know for sure), place your pan on the grill and give it a good shake with tongs every 20 seconds.
You can stop shaking the pan once the kernels begin to pop, at which time you’ll simply need to wait until the popping stops. Depending on your grill’s heat, the cooking process should take roughly 8 or 9 minutes. Remove the pan from the grill once the popping is done, and then season the popcorn.
Whether it’s bread pudding, apple cobbler or savory cakes, you’d be amazed at the range of desserts that can be successfully put together on the grill.
Grilled bread pudding with fresh fruit is one of our all-time favorites. Raspberries with sliced (and pitted) peaches work well with this recipe, because the grilling process does a wonderful job of bringing out the fruit’s natural sugars.
Grilled pineapple with sorbet is an easy crowd-pleaser, as is grilled pound cake, grilled fruit cobbler, and even grilled donuts! When it comes to barbecuing and culinary creativity, your imagination is the only limit.
If you’re in the market for other sorts of summer cuisine tips, download our free Country Guide to Outdoor Entertaining. Along with summer recipes and foolproof picnic tips, you’ll find ideas for classic summertime lawn games, and even instructions for creating your very own fairy garden.